By Guest Blogger on August 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Posted in: Marketing & Communications
By guest blogger Poojah Ganesh
A city with fewer than 7,000 residents, Sturgis, South Dakota, sits amid serene mountains and rolling hills. For the most part, the winding roads that pass through this part of the state are quiet, with little traffic. But all of that changes during the first week of August each year, when more than 500,000 motorcyclists and RV owners descend upon the quiet town from all over the U.S., transforming the area into the ultimate biker’s paradise.
This year marks the 74th Annual Sturgis Bike Rally, one of the largest events of its kind, attracting throngs of motorcycle and RV enthusiasts and their families and friends.
The origins of the Sturgis Bike Rally can be traced back to August 1938 and Clarence “Pappy” Hoel, who envisioned a place where bikers from all over the U.S. could come and enjoy motorcycle camaraderie. A decade after the first such gathering (which drew a total of nine participants), Sturgis featured a 2-hour ceremony, blocking off the town’s Main Street. Over the next several decades, the event expanded into a seven-day rally featuring thousands of bikers from all walks of life.
At its height in 2000, more than 600,000 people participated in the rally, the most ever at a U.S. motorcycle event. Most recently, Sturgis has attracted bikers from places as far away as Germany, Japan and even Australia.
One of Sturgis’ most famous landmarks is Buffalo Chip. In 1981, Rod Woodruff established Buffalo Chip, which is now one of the biggest motorcycle hangouts in the nation. Buffalo Chip started out as a biker “party” where bikers could come, listen to great music and have fun. Today, Buffalo Chip activities include beauty pageants, games, activities, tattoo artists, food, performances from some of the greatest music legends. The Zac Brown Band, Train, Collective Soul and Alice Cooper will be performing at Buffalo Chip on the Wolfman Jack Stage.
Your favorite insurance company and mine will have a huge footprint at Buffalo Chip, serving as an exclusive partner. Visitors to the Buffalo Chip area will have a chance to meet the GEICO Gecko and enter Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson® & GEICO® Motorcycle Give-away Sweepstakes. GEICO is bringing along its impressive array of big-boy toys featuring the Miss GEICO boat, the Lucas Oil NHRA dragster, Paul Jr. Military Tribute Bike, and NASCAR driver Casey Mears’ #13 GEICO racecar. And on Aug. 5, there will be a special Military Appreciation Day, honoring the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces.
So get your motor runnin’, and head out on the highway … to Sturgis!